Possibly hoping to take the focus off of its disappointing financial news,
disclosed earlier this week, Oracle (ORCL)
today launched a blizzard of Java-enabled server software and
development tools at fall
Internet World '97
in New York City.
As previously reported on December 1, the
database software giant announced a deal with Novell to integrate the database company's
software with Novell's IntranetWare operating system and NDS, the acronym
for the company's directory services software. The two also plan to deliver Java-based
development tools to speed adoption of server-side Java applications.
Oracle also detailed new e-commerce software, upgrades to its Oracle 8
database server and Oracle Lite single-user database, a new Java development
tool, and a Java-enabled business application suite.
On the e-commerce front, Oracle said a beta version of its new payment
server is now available. Payment Server 1.0, slated to ship by March 31,
lets systems integrators and software developers integrate payment
processing with e-commerce applications.
The payment server is a Java cartridge deployed on Oracle's Web Application
It comes bundled with payment systems for credit cards and e-cash from ICVerify and CyberCash.
Oracle also previewed Web Application Server 4.0, a 100 percent
Java-compatible version of the company's Web server and object request
broker combo. The server will enter beta testing within 30 days, according
to the company, and will ship in the first half of next year. Also included
will be support for Sun Microsystems'
Enteprise JavaBeans specification, according to Oracle.
In another Internet commerce announcement, Oracle said a new release of its
Internet Commerce Server is now available. New features include tools to
build and maintain electronic storefronts more easily, integration with TanData's shipping and handling
software, support for Japanese and other Asian languages, and encrypted
URLs as an alternative to cookies to guide buyers' privacy.
On the database front, Oracle said its Oracle Lite 3.0, which ships this
week, supports development of Java stored procedures and includes a native
ODBC driver, Java access classes, and full concurrent transaction support.
Oracle Lite costs $295 per developer seat and is available as the Oracle
Lite Mobile Option for the Oracle 8, priced at $95
Other new features for Oracle Lite 3.0 include the ability to replicate data
through the MAPI (mail application programming interface) email protocol and
over the Web using HTTP. The database also provides a glimpse of Oracle's
future direction in Java support. It supports stored procedures and triggers
written in Java, a feature planned for Oracle 8.1. That feature is an
update to the
company's full-featured database server, slated to debut in the second half
of 1998, according to Mark Jarvis, vice president of system products
marketing at Oracle.
Oracle also detailed a minor upgrade to Oracle 8. Oracle 8.04 is a
maintenance release that includes the JSQL tool for accessing Oracle
databases through Java tools, JDBC support, and includes image and time
cartridges for supporting additional data types.
Oracle debuted a Java development toolset built atop
Borland International's JBuilder
technology, which Oracle has licensed. The tool, formerly code-named
Valhalla, will be positioned as a Java-based rapid application development
tool for Oracle's user base building Java and CORBA (common object request
broker architecture) applications.
Finally, Oracle said it plans to roll out Oracle Applications 10.7
within 30 days in a Web-deployable format so corporate customers can
access the applications through Web browsers. IS administrators will be able
to deploy the new applications without having to install client versions of
software on each user's desktop.
Oracle Applications 10.7 Web suite is the Internet-deployable and
Java-based version of Oracle's complete enterprise package of Financials,
Human Resources, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Sales and Marketing
software, the company said.
Based on Oracle's Network Computing architecture, the new business suite
consists of 35 applications in all, has been in beta testing since July,
and is scheduled to ship to customers this month, according to Peter
Heller, director of product marketing at Oracle.
Oracle worked with Sun
Microsystems' JavaSoft division to develop the new Web-deployable
suite, Heller said.
Earlier this week, Oracle announced earnings for the second fiscal quarter
that fell far short of even the company's CEO's expectations
in its key areas--server and applications sales. Following the news,
Oracle's stock dropped by 30 percent and broke a new record on Nasdaq for
the most actively traded issue. Nearly 172 million shares traded hands at
the market's close yesterday.